Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) said it was granted a limited notice to proceed (LNTP) to begin work on a biomass with carbon capture and storage (CCS) conversion of a former coal-fired plant in Filer City, Michigan.

B&W is working with NorthStar Clean Energy to finalize the full contract, which includes a FEED study for the project. B&W can now begin detailed design and procurement work, with full notice to proceed expected in the fourth quarter of 2024.

When the conversion project is complete, the 73 MW Filer City power plant will use biomass as fuel – coupled with B&W’s SolveBright post-combustion CO2 capture technology. The scrubbing system absorbs CO2 directly from the plant’s flue gas using a regenerable solvent that is then recycled for re-use.

B&W’s full contract scope of the conversion project is expected to include engineering, design and delivery of equipment to convert the plant to use biomass fuel and add carbon capture technology. Babcock & Wilcox Construction Co., LLC, will manage the construction and mechanical scope of the project.

The Filer City plant is jointly owned by Texas-based Tondu Corp and NorthStar (a subsidiary of CMS Energy Corporation). The plant generates steam with two non-reheat Foster Wheeler traveling grate spreader stoker boilers. Pollutants are removed from the flue gas stream using two flue gas dry scrubbers and two baghouses.

The plant began commercial operation in 1990. The remaining coal unit is expected to retire by June 2025, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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